I've got a "new" iPhone 11 and I'm new to iOS. My previous smartphone was an Android phone and I used to sync my photos with NextCloud for Android. So I've now installed NextCloud for iOS and marked my folders as available when offline, assuming that is how you download your photos to your iPhone with NextCloud (I've verified in airplane mode that NextCloud can open the photos, so the photos are actually there in the iPhone memory, somewhere).

After it finished downloading, in the Photos app I only see a "NextCloud" folder which contains only a text file (a log of what NextCloud downloaded), but no pictures. However, since I can see my photos in the NextCloud app for iOS even when I activate airplane mode, I'm pretty sure they are there, but I suspect that there is non where the Photos app assumes them to be. But I might also be wrong, so please don't take my word on that.

What should I do to have my photos show up in Photos?

1 Answer 1


This is a very common type of question here. The sandbox security model causes this split in one app’s somewhere being different than another apps somewhere by default.

Sandboxing means each app can’t see the downloaded files of another. Even Apple apps honor this restriction. The developer has to take extra steps to expose files to other apps and/or use specific calls to share data and files with photos.app (for example).

TLDR - contact the developer of the app to see if they can or will implement using files app to store the files outside the app sandbox.

There is an SDK / API to share storage with photos. Many apps use that, but I can’t say if the one you chose works that way. One I use and am more familiar with is Pixelmator. It can store photos in its sandbox and also knows about how photos stores files/documents and asks permission to access the storage of the photos sandbox.

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